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Ascentric delays plans to offer annuities

Ascentric has delayed plans to add annuities to its platform this year, saying it underestimated the amount of work it has to do to be ready for the RDR.

In October, Money Marketing revealed that the Royal London-owned wrap planned to add annuities to the platform in 2012 following demand from advisers who wanted to aggregate more client assets.

Ascentric managing director Hugo Thorman (pictured) says: “Annuities almost certainly will not be available before 2013. We underestimated how much platforms are required to do in the short term to be ready for the RDR. Under the new rules, every client will need to receive information about all of the funds they are invested in, which is not a trivial thing to develop.

“At the moment, people joining platforms are not looking for an annuity, they are looking to carry on accumulating. It would be nice to have them on the platform but it is not essential right now.”

Research by technology company Dunston Thomas in May found almost two-thirds of adv-isers would transact annuity business through platforms if the service was widely available.

Transact, Aegon, Cofunds, Skandia and Nucleus are considering adding annuities but have not set out any timescales.

Novia, Fidelity, Aviva, Standard Life, Axa and Avalon say that they have no plans to offer annuities.

CWC Research senior partner Clive Waller says: “If I were building a platform, I would make all products available, including annuities and protection.”

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  1. Interesting.

    If a fairly forward-looking firm like Ascentric is having RDR indigestion, what kind of mess are the legacy life companies in? Or are a large chunk of providers not going to facilitate adviser Charge at all? Now that would be “interesting”.

    As Sir Alex is found of saying “It’s squeaky bum time”.

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